Telemarketing is all about trying to create opportunities – whether it may be used for market research or to collect accurate information to use other marketing techniques, telemarketing is one of the most operational strategies that a growing business can employ.
The Department of Labor (US) estimates that approximately 8,850 telemarketing companies exist and employ about 511,000 people, and that's just in the United States.
Keeping the need for competent telemarketers in business-to-business communication in mind, here are our top tips on becoming an effective telemarketer:
1. Understanding your Voice
When your voice and words are the only available tools that you may use to promote your service, understanding and maintaining your voice is important. Controlling your breath through proper posture and maintaining good physical health to improve lung capacity will directly affect the range of your voice, as breath control gives your voice its power. Tone is the quality of your voice as air moves from your chest through your larynx, while articulation is how you pronounce sound using the mouth, lips and jaws to form words.
Negative aspects of tone and effective articulation can be managed to a great extent with concentration and practice. This is important as customers will pick up on any excitement or anger that you may express during the call.
2. Speaking a Positive Language
It can be tempting to be rude at times, but that’s not the lasting impression you want to leave of your business, is it? While handling calls, remember to always be polite and speak positively. Instead of being ambiguous and saying “I don’t know”, or being rude and saying “Is that it?”, try to utilize a more helpful mannerism and say “Let me find that out for you” and “Can I help you with anything else today?” Address the customer in the manner that they prefer, using “sir” or “ma’am” as appropriate, and under no circumstances should you swear.
Remember that you are the professional face of your company, and also a professional salesperson.
3. The four Es
A study published by LinkedIn showed that 68% of B2B sales were found to involve some form of human interaction such as telemarketing. Customers have been found to respond to better to the human touch than to some other form such as digital marketing. It therefore is important to remember the four Es of communication:
Expressive - Use your voice to vary the tone of what you say and rate to make it interesting to hear.
Enunciate - Use clear enunciation and master articulation.
Engage - Your voice should be smooth and pleasant, not whiny or negative.
Energize - Your voice needs to really shine when you use the telephone as your instrument. You need to feel energy and pass that positive flow through to your customers.
4. Techniques for Active Listening
Studies have shown that it takes 80 calls on average to get an opportunity. Therefore the urge to zone out by the time you are answering the 10th call of the day will be overpowering. To avoid that and to ensure that you actively listen to your customers, keep yourself away from distracting noises or loud machines. It would also help to keep your desk organized, with necessary material only, such as notepads, pens and technical directories, nearby. Standing straight or sitting upright at your desk will further allow you to breathe, increasing your efficiency.
5. Use a Script
Your script is your guide on conducting the first part of your call. It doesn’t have to be followed perfectly – it’s just there to remind you of what you want to say, in case you get stuck. A standard script for cold calling will begin with an attention and identification statement to introduce the caller, followed by stating the reason for call and requesting a meeting. In case of objections, keep in mind to remain professional and address the customer’s queries in a polite manner.
6. Choosing a Good Voice Mail Technique
The last request you make to an unanswered call should be leaving the customer a message via voicemail, ensuring your call hasn’t been completely wasted. Strategies that can be used include:
(“Hello Mr. Hartness. I was talking to Sam Peterson and he suggested I give you a call because I offer ______ service and he mentioned that you are looking for this. When you get a chance, please call me at 901-555-5555.”)
A third party message
(“Hello Ms. Mahtani, I’m calling regarding Company XYZ. When you get a chance, could you please call me at 901-555-5555?”)
A warm cold-call, or just straightforwardly pitching your standard cold-calling script.
As long as you follow a process and take a little time to practice, you’ll find becoming an efficient telemarketer in a short space of time with just a little effort.
For more tips, check out: 7 Essential Skills Every Call Center Agent Needs to Master